An archive of the key court rulings in the Tristangate dispute.
U.S. Appellate Court Confirms the Award
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit confirms the previous court ruling from March 23, 2018 that the award is valid and enforceable as a binding U.S. judgment. The ruling states that: “We find that it was not an abuse of discretion for the District Court to deny Kazakhstan’s motion because the District Court based its ruling on multiple valid grounds. We further agree with the District Court that Kazakhstan improperly presented new facts in its motion for reconsideration that it had not introduced in its original motion to supplement.”
As a result of this ruling, any non-state immune Kazakh state assets on U.S. soil become amenable to attachment and foreclosure by the Stati Parties.
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The Stati Parties petitioned the Washington D.C. federal district court for an emergency attachment of the former residence of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s ambassador in the District of Columbia, arguing that it is now used for commercial rather than diplomatic purposes.
The relief sought is in response to Kazakhstan’s continued refusal to honour the fully adjudicated US$556 Million Tristangate Award that was issued by a Swedish arbitration tribunal in 2013.
The property is presently rented out to a translation school and a remodelling company on a commercial basis, according to a filing by the Stati parties, and therefore no longer protected by sovereign immunity.
The motion asks for an order that the property cannot be sold for the next 180 days and, if the property were to be sold that the proceeds are paid into a designated court escrow account.
Lawyers for Argentem Creek Partners have re-filed a motion to dismiss, following Republic of Kazakhstan’s decision to amend their original complaint last month.
The Brussels Court of Appeal has rejected Kazakhstan’s challenge to a $530 million attachment of assets held via its National Fund with BNY Mellon in Brussels.
The asset attachment, originally at a value of $22.6 billion, is an enforcement measure against Kazakhstan’s continued failure to pay more than $500 million awarded to the Stati Parties by a Swedish arbitral tribunal in 2013. The Stati Parties later agreed to limit the attachment to $530 million, reflecting the approximate value of the Energy Charter Award at the time. The attachment value has since grown with interest to over $540 million.
The Amsterdam District Court denied a $118 million damages claim brought by the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) against the Stati Parties.
NBK claimed it had suffered severe losses after rulings in a Dutch court and a Belgian court in 2017 led to the attachment of sovereign assets held by BNY Mellon worth $22.6 billion.
The court dismissed the claim in its entirety, arguing that “in this case there is no question of an unlawful attachment leading to risk liability,” and that “it cannot be held that the Stati parties abused their powers”. It also ordered NBK to cover the Statis’ legal costs.
Lawyers acting for Argentem Creek Partners filed a motion in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to dismiss Kazakhstan’s suit, as well as a separate motion to compel Outrider to submit its claims to arbitration.
Kazakhstan’s claims are identical to issues raised in previous proceedings, the motion to dismiss argues, noting that these were already litigated and decided in other courts. The motion to compel arbitration is based on the grounds that the Sharing Agreement signed between Tristan’s noteholders in 2012 mandates the use of arbitration to resolve differences rather than filing of complaints in the American courts and that all noteholders agree to arbitrate when they purchase notes. Outrider, who decided to join Kazakhstan earlier this year in backing the fictional fraud claims, is a signatory to the Sharing Agreement.